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Danny Cowley: Elite Performance Centre can help Lincoln's promotion push

The Imps have reinvested prize money from their historic FA Cup run into building a new training centre.

Lincoln boss Danny Cowley thinks the club's new state-of-the-art training facility could give them the edge this season in the race for promotion from League Two.

The Elite Performance Centre, which will become the training home to Lincoln's first-team squad, cost £1.3million to build and was paid for by prize money and gate receipts from the club's historic run to the FA Cup quarter-finals during the 2016/17 campaign.

The Imps, then a non-league club, reached the last eight of the competition, knocking out Ipswich, Brighton and Burnley along the way before finally succumbing to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

Lincoln are now currently top of League Two and Cowley thinks the facility can only provide them with an advantage going forward, as the club targets a second promotion in three years.

"In the first two seasons we were working between an army barracks and a school playing field, so it's going to give us huge benefits, and our academy is only a stone's throw away now too," Cowley told Press Association Sport.

"The difference between success and failure is small margins, so you're always looking for ways to get the right side of those small margins – we call them one percenter's. When we are in properly and up and running then we see it as being a real advantage.

"It will allow us to develop players individually and collectively and help with recruitment, as players who maybe weren't available to us when we didn't have a training ground maybe will be now."

The facility, which is set to be fully operational before the end of month, includes three elite grass football pitches, a fully equipped gym, changing rooms and new staff offices. The training ground features two specialist television towers that will enable Lincoln's technical staff to film and analyse training in real-time.

"Our mantra is about trying to provide the players with the best possible chance to play at their best and these facilities will only enhance that," said Cowley.

"We do lots of video analysis and film every training session and now we can get up really high to a high vantage point. That's important to us as we learn lots from doing that."

Lincoln will attempt to embark on another FA Cup run on Saturday when they host League Two rivals Northampton.

Cowley said: "The facility shows what an impact prize money can have, it is a legacy and creates a platform for the club to push on to future successes.

"We love playing at Sincil Bank and we love the FA Cup, so here's hoping we can have some more success in the competition."


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City35292489226789
2Liverpool35277179205988
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs352311165353070
4Chelsea35207859382167
5Arsenal35206969462366
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd35197963501364
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves35149124443151
8Watford35148135050050
9Everton35147145044649
10Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Crystal Palace35126174348-542
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35118163544-941
14Bournemouth35125184962-1341
15Burnley35117174462-1840
16Southampton35910164158-1737
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3597193254-2234
18Cardiff CityCardiff3594223065-3531
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914

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